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Video: Remains of First Jamestown Leaders discovered in Virginia

by | Aug 10, 2015 | Blog

FTP Information
Folder: Jamestown Media Kit/Videos/B-Roll
The remains of the four leaders of Jamestown, the first permanent and successful English colony in America, have been discovered in the historic Virginia settlement.

The find in late July was one of the most important in recent times and was made in the burial grounds of a 16th century church in Jamestown (also where Pocahontas married John Rolfe) by archaeologists from the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation at Historic Jamestowne and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

The identification of the remains unearths new information about the colony, the role of religion and the lives of the leaders, who were:

The Reverend Robert Hunt, who arrived with the first settlers, was the first Church of England Minister at Jamestown and was responsible for religious services and preaching to local Indian peoples.

Captain Gabriel Archer, one of the most important early leaders, was involved in much of the in-fighting that characterised the colony’s first few years.


Sir Ferdinando Wainman was a kinsman of the Governor, Lord De La Warr, and a high ranking officer who was appointed Master of Ordnance (artillery) and placed in charge of the colony’s horse troops.


Captain William West was also a relative of Lord De La Warr and was killed in fighting against elite Indian warriors in the autumn or winter of 1610.

Forensic analysis of the remains and sophisticated examination of artefacts in the graves using CT scans, 3D-technology and archive research identified that the remains belonged to the four leaders. Future research will involve genetic testing to learn more about the four men.

“The presence of the artefacts and the location of the graves in the church’s most sacred space, the chancel, both indicate the high status of the four men and their importance to the early history of the Jamestown venture,” said Dr. William Kelso, Director of Archaeology at Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation.

“The skeletons of these men help fill out the stories of their lives and contribute to existing knowledge about the early years at Jamestown,” said Owsley, division head of physical anthropology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

Historic Jamestowne, the archaeology site where these discoveries were made, is open to the public and provides visitors with the chance to talk to the archaeologists who were part of this remarkable discovery and to learn more about the colony.

To find out more about Historic Jamestowne, visit www.historicjamestowne.org

To find out more the Capital Region USA, visit www.CapitalRegionUSA.co.uk


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10 August 2015

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